Create the Scale

Creativity is a nice-to-have extra… the pretty details, the fun copy, the great campaign… right?

Dead wrong.

Scale-ups exist in a grey world, somewhere between being too big to stay where they are and too small to really explode. By definition, they need to grow and change.

Scale-ups who build creativity and innovation into their core remain flexible and adaptable enough to take advantage of the changing currents of trend and development. They do not get threatened and worry that their identity will be lost… their very identity IS flux!

The very words SCALE UP tell you all you need to know: there is going to be change. Do you want to be a reactive recipient of change or a pro-active maker of those changes?

Creativity is the differentiator here. When your company has creativity in its DNA you have the following:

Freedom to speak

A good idea is a good idea, no matter where it comes from. From the intern to the CEO, everyone must be given the time, space (mental and physical) and equipment to be creative.

Freedom from Judgement

There is no such thing as a bad idea. Some ideas need more work than others, but you cannot ever write off an idea… its time will come… sooner or later. And besides, fantastic new things tend not to emerge fully formed at the first try… they mostly require polishing.

Guidelines instead of rules

Strict rules tend to result in repetitive, unthinking behaviour. People are not thinking about the best way to solve a problem, but how to follow the rules. This often results in clunky, unthinking solutions to problems. Guidelines can be bent and broken and therefore, the pursuit of solutions can progress faster and more smoothly.

But many entrepreneurs are excellent at what they do and have no idea about how to build creativity into their organisations. OR they feel that, as the founder, everything must come from them to be valuable. Both are limiting and dangerous to the future of that business.

The selfish founder who still thinks it is all about them as they go into Scale-Up has a limited lifespan. Either the business will fail, or it will outgrow their skills set. One way or another, it’s going to end in tears.

Remember, Creativity is an open-ended thing that requires community and the right environment. No founder is an island, and they must all operate in their community and the environment they have created.

Why wouldn’t you want loyal people pursuing your goals with all the power of the expertise and ingenuity? Well, give them free creative reign. Listen to their ideas, build time for creative thinking into every workday, make use of the ideas that emerge. 

Don’t judge and block and say, ‘Yes but…’

Listen, think and say, ‘Yes and…’

Wondering how you can make your scale-up more creative and how to foster a culture of innovation? Get in touch via 


Written by: David Chislett


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